July 29, 2008

A Guide to Failure

You know you're going to flunk an exam when you start making up reasons for why you flunked even before you give the exam.
Noticing the over-populated shelves of the Self-Help Section on Succeeding, i decided to embark upon this arduous journey of writing an article on how not to succeed.
Now, some people would say that flunking, (also known as failing, flopping out and, the more colourful and very vernacular, getting fucked!) is quite easy. Not so. It can be ridiculously hard to fail. It requires weeks, and sometimes, months of dedication and hard work.

Doing everything else besides studying, that is.

Indeed, one of the toughest decisions to make at that point in time when you decide that books do not quite deserve as much time as your geeky pals, proffessors and parents say they do is: what exactly to do?

This confusing conundrum can easily be solved by dividing the problem into the following simple steps-

Step 1: Outlining area of interests
This is the most important step, for only when you have a solid foundation can you have a solid building. *koff* Moving on from the profound to the pedagaugically profane. On a piece of paper, write down what best captures your attention and then go one better and write what deviates it the most. Yes, for only when we know our weaknesses can you ever hope to harness our strengths!

Step 2: Choosing an area of interest
The second step in the process is vital to your success at failing. In this step you choose one of the areas from the many listed in the previous step and concentrate upon achieving the main objectives pertaining to that particular area. For example, if the topic chosen by you is Girls, then you can break up your objectives so that you have ample time to achieve all. More importantly, so that you have ample time to ignore studies.

Continuing with our example of Girls, your objectives can include

  • Prank Calls (No response from callee)
  • Short Phone Calls (Establishing connection)
  • Long Phone Calls (Establishing trust)
  • File Work for Favourite Girl (Building trust)
  • Hostel/House Drops and Pick-Ups (Getting desperate)
  • Assorted Chores (Getting more desperate)
  • Private Tutions (Getting there)
  • Private Dates (ahem)
  • Backbench Baiting & Biting (koff)
  • Getting It ON! (oh yeah!!!)
  • and for the very lucky few, Philandering.

Step Three:
Following your schedule with a manic obsession until you achieve your main objective of, well, flunking, failing and generally getting fucked.


my result was released day before. It's not too good.
Just 71.4%
(smug smug grin, big wide one showing teeth and gums! modesty be damned goddam hoo-haa)

So don't take this post TOO seriously :P.

July 22, 2008


Finished reading 'Shantaram' by Gregory David Roberts today and it would be safe to say that this magnificent novel is like nothing i have ever read before. Praises more eloquent than i could ever conceive have already been dedicated to this masterpiece of a story.

The writing is brutally frank and honest. It catches hold of you from the first sentence and doesn’t let go till the last, giving you hundreds of shakes and jolts along the way to keep you, if possible, even more riveted. The people, places and situations are described in a manner that, I can now say, is uniquely Roberts. Indeed, the breathtaking, almost tangible beauty of the imagery and the powerful style of writing all but pull you into the life of Shantaram.

And what a life it is: from prison breaks to living in slums, from working for the mafia to fighting with the Mujahedeen, Shantaram’s done it all. The story of his life gets so unbelievable that it is easy to forget that this is novel, though a work a fiction, has been built upon real life events that are stranger and, at times, more unbelievable than fiction itself.

The words of caution that the Publishers forgot to include on the cover is that this book will make you pine for adventure. That it will make you yearn for love and, at the same time, will make you want to love, the second considerably harder than the first. It will make you crave to find yourself. They forgot to say that this story will teach you about love, hate, remorse, forgiveness and a larger than life philosophy without ever getting preachy.

Roberts’ writing has the power to touch even the most callous of readers and change them in some small way or the other.

This is one novel you have got to read.

Visit the official site of the author here.

20 July, 2008

July 8, 2008

The Calling of the Names | Accenture Placement

It seemed as though our lungs had collapsed, caved in on themselves, and our hearts had expanded to four times their normal size. Breathing had become exponentially difficult and every pulse had quickened. Adrenaline surged through our veins, energizing every nerve in every body to the point where the air in the presentation hall seemed to crackle with an electric intensity and the entire room seemed to vibrate with the beating of our collective hearts.

The tension mounted by the second, where each second was made up of a thousand different thoughts of dreams, hopes and fears. Some amongst us prayed, some fidgeted, some had their fingers crossed while some waited calmly (as calmly as possible at that point of time) with want of some better to do with themselves. Not one person smiled. It's hard to smile when the sum result of the sweat and tears you drain across four rounds of written tests, group discussions and interviews over five days rounds up to the direction your career takes, or does not take, in under five minutes!
Any attempt at a smile ends up a parody of a grimace underlining constipated bowel movement!

After a thousand false starts and another thousand scares, it finally began, the calling of the names:

"As I take your name, please stand:" said the HR Manager, "Abhay. . . Anchit. . .". The names rolled off her tongue and their owners stood up slowly, as though in a daze, "Fahd. . . Jharna. . . Manmeet. . . Pranay. . . Priyanka. . . Rohan. . . Sheena. . ."

"Wouldn't it be funny if she asks all the people who have been made to stand to leave, that they have not been selected and thank you for coming?" I asked Jharna.

She showed me the flat of her hand as though to slap me. It was OK to joke at that point, we'd made it.

The selected candidates celebrated their happiness by cheering loudly and calling home, where anxious parents were waiting for the news. The rest went home empty handed, teary eyed and bitter.

"Winning is giving it your best", they say. Try telling that to someone who gets rejected in the Third Round for the second time after having given it his/her best along with everything besides that and what 'they' say will suddenly seem like a crock of bull!
I know because I've been there myself.

The important thing is not to lost heart and to keep at it because Lady Luck only thwarts for so long.
And not to forget that in the end it's not what you have lost, it's what you have gained.

The following are good places to begin with and hone your skills in attempting papers and interviews:
6 July, 2008